My husband has commented on my last blog about labour. This one is for the dads! Enjoy!
#1 Everyone says, “when labour starts, you’ll know”
#DadsDebrief (#DD) “yep. And what a strange experience it is. Brace yourselves chaps. It’s nothing like you’ve experienced before. Unless you’ve had a child. Thus rendering this first time dads blog useless.
#2 When labour started, I knew.
#DD “yep. As I said. It started. And it was strange. See previous comment for more information.
#3 Sheer determination not to go in and get sent home (and a TENS machine) will enable you to bear the pain at home for far longer than you imagined possible.
#DD unbelievable tekkers. It’s unbelievable what the ladies go through throughout this process! Your entire outlook on the other half of the human population will change dramatically.
#4 If the person giving you a lift to the hospital has never seen someone in labour before it may freak them out (thanks bro!)
#DD Give them a heads up before hand. Don’t let them see labour without any prior information.
#5 The Muppets movie was an excellent distraction. Hunger Games was not.
#DD intense film + intense pain = not such a pleasant experience. Switch to the muppets instead.
#6 When you get to the hospital you may have to sit in a waiting room for ages. The midwives may not believe you are as far along as you think. You will feel triumphant when they discover you are.
#DD again. Incredible tekkers. Well done Wifey!
#7 Before labour starts you will pack and repack your hospital bag, most of it will end up being unnecessary.
#DD chaps. Your hospital bag will mainly consist of energy drinks and snack bars. Your wife’s will contain everything you might need if you’re there for more than a day or two. Pack it anyway, and be prepared to carry it and anything she asks. Your partner has carried your child for nine months and is about to push it out of her body. Carrying a bag is quite easy in comparison.
#8 Apart from juice cartons and a water bottle!
#DD Chaps. Energy drinks and snacks. That’s all you need. And maybe a fresh pair of boxers. But that’s it
#9 You won’t have time to read the magazine you packed.
#DD however chaps. You might be able to. Reading in the post labour ward is an excellent way to stop and wind down whilst mother and child have a good sleep.
#10 You needn’t bother packing an outfit for labour. Once you’re in the hospital in full labour you really don’t care who sees you naked!
#DD Dads. Leave the tuxedo at home. It’s hot in there. Wear comfortable and light clothing.
#11 If you have food intolerances take loads of snacks/send your husband out for food. Every staff member taking meal orders had limited English and when I said I was gluten free and couldn’t have much milk I got wheat toast and cereal drowned in milk.
#DD get as much as you can dads! And get something for yourself. Go on. Treat yourself.
#12 Gas and air doesn’t take away the pain of contractions, but it makes you feel able to push through them.
#DD it also reveals a side to your partner that you might not often see.
#13 Being on gas and air feels like being back at Uni on a night out.
#DD you might see them telling you secrets or in my case, reveal how incredibly kind they are deep down.
#14 Time stops during labour. You will ask your husband to take a song off repeat because you think it’s been on 5 times but it will have only just started.
#DD not for you guys! It will whizz through the first part, then maybe slow down and then rocket towards the end. You might be asked countless times what time is it. The answer will often be “5 mins since you last asked honey”
#15 You will not instantly forget about the pain of labour as soon as you hold your baby. Particularly if you are then getting stitches!
#DD yup. Ouch. However be there to offer another distraction. Although avoid mime and circus acts.
#16 There will be midwives you’d like to punch in the face! Particularly if they’re calling your little boy a ‘she’ in the middle of the night and not listening as you correct them.
#DD personally I think it’s sometimes ok to think about doing this.
#17 There will also be midwives you’d like to kiss. They are highly skilled, incredible people and you will trust them implicitly to guide you through labour.
#DD again in some cases considered okay.
#18 Once you’ve had the baby the midwives will leave you to it and you will be expected to care for the tiny human on your own!
#DD and you’ll wonder whether they need to do a background check. DBS? Financial status? House check? Nope. Just get on and care for the little person.
#19 If you stay on a maternity ward you might have to listen to (incredibly loud) sniffing, singing in another language and loud Skype conversations!
#DD Dads. If you stay. Be prepared for this. Or take a taxi home, and get some shut eye. If you can get back into the game for your partner and child, it will be a huge blessing to you all.
#20 Then, when you get your baby to sleep and lie down to try and sleep the three other babies on your ward will start to scream. As soon as they stop, your baby will wake up.
#DD again. Get your energy levels back up, so that you can care for both when you get them home.
#21 If you spill lucozade on yourself, your bed and your baby whilst you are breastfeeding in the middle of the night, that’s ok.
#DD other things that are considered okay are Jam, Beer, Salmon Mousse and Pate.
#22 You will get ready to be discharged and then spend absolutely ages sat waiting whilst paperwork is completed.
#DD dads. Go and find out what’s going on, then add an hour and a half onto it to tell your partner. I’m not sure if you know this but the NHS is occasionally busy these days and anticipating a longer wait might be helpful for all parties.
#23 You will go home tired and sore but it will feel so worth it as you look at your gorgeous baby all snuggled up in his carseat ready for the journey home!